Twitter, some people say Twitter is not hot anymore, rather it is now considered as one of old fashioned social media. Within a small rectangle space, we can write anything but it limits your thought to only 140 words. 140 words might be not enough to express my thought, but these 140 words are more powerful than you think.
I use Twitter to communicate with people whom I never met before (and won’t meet them in the future for sure). We never met before in reality, but we can communicate. This means that we can share our common interests, thoughts and useful information. For me, there’re some Twitter friends and we only chat through Twitter’s message system or each others’ Tweets. Unlike Facebook, I can be more ‘me’ in Twitter even though we don’t meet with each other in reality. Of course, there’re bunch of strange people as well. (they’re everywhere both in online and offline…)
Anyway, this Twitter becomes a place where support feminine movement in South Korea, I realise. Now, more and more women share their horrific experiences of sexual violence from ‘men’ and ‘society’ surrounding them. It should take courage to share their horrible experiences with others in a public space, Twitter.
Last few days, one of victims of sexual violence disclosed a distinguished novelist’s repulsive sexual harassment. So many of female writers and fans had to endure his disgusting behaviour and one of victims decided to write about his hidden dirty side to the world. And this case is starting to encourage other victims to share their experiences of sexual violence that they couldn’t share with others before. People start to retweet their tweets and their tweets widely spread from person to person.
Those disgusting sexual offenders live the double life with two faces. Through # (hashtag), we share our stories and these stories will reveal whom they really are to the world.
Recent heat waves have lasted almost one month in South Korea. We had to endure the tropical nights. In this heat I sank into a state of torpor. I must confess, I couldn’t do anything during last one month include blogging. But there’s an end to everything and I finally could smell a bit of ‘autumn’ from the wind during the last weekend. No more heat waves and I don’t need to endure and worry about the tropical nights anymore. Autumn has come at last I see, smell and feel.
And I got a new idea to start as a part of my personal research project from this September. (I know there’re so many things that I tried to do last few months and I finally found this idea as a new project that I will be doing for next few months) I will connect two different time and spaces through using digital mobile devices or social media. This will be about a Korean woman who lived a life of extreme ups and downs. I will explain more about this new project in the next blog post.
I found this photo from one of my twitter friends today. These two ajummas put their mobile phone on the triport and watching TV through DMB (Digital Multimedia Broadcasting) while they’re travelling in the subway in Seoul. They share the earphones as well.
I already wrote about how the subway is important for Seoulite’s daily life in my Master’s thesis that is called ‘Mobile Bang (2010)’. The subway shouldn’t be considered as just a sort of public transport. Rather it means a lot more for people in Seoul or South Korea. I call it as a Mobile Bang (room in English) and commuters do various things in the subway especially through uaing their smartphones while they’re travelling.
We’re now having very hot and humid days in South Korea (35c/70-80 % humidity). People want to find any place where they can avoid hot and humid weather. The subway could be one of those places I think. So I really love this photo and want to share these Smart Ajummas in Mobile Bang with you.
Thank you for my friend (from twitter) who allowed me to use this photo for this blog.
I can hear so many ajummas call other middle-aged women as ‘Ajumma’. For example, middle-aged women customers (ajummas) call other middle-aged women sellers, “Ajumma! How much is this?”. But when seller ajummas call customer ajummas, “Ajumma! Try some our Kimchi!”, customer ajummas feel uncomfortable. (I experienced so many times these situations when I went to market to buy something) In fact, the seller ajummas never call customer ajummas as ‘Ajumma’. Never!
This is irony because ajummas call other ajummas as an ajumma but those ajummas don’t want to be called as an ajumma by others include ajummas.
As I mentioned how the first-birthday party (Dol Jan-chi) is important in Korea, most of parents (especially mothers) prepare the birthday party table with all their hearts for their birthday baby and the guests. At the birthday party, the party host (parents) share their baby’s growing diary during last 1 year through showing photos and a video. Furthermore, various interactive activities about their baby between the guests and the host such as quiz bring the guests to enjoy the baby’s first-birthday party better. Yes, this is a predictable baby’s first-birthday party even though you never experience it in Korea. (because birthday party is birthday party!)
But, one thing that I would like to introduce to you today is, there is an online first-birthday party in Korea today! The online first-birthday party (Online Dol Jan-chi) is literally means a birthday party for a baby who became 1 year old in an online space such as blog and social media. This online first-birthday party is now the trend among young Korean mums. Once they have the offline first-birthday party, then they celebrate their babies’ first-birthday party in online spaces (e.g. their blogs). For the offline birthday party, the guests are mostly their family members, colleagues and anyone who are very close to the baby’s parents. However, our mums and ajummas are now smart Ajummas (or smart mums)! They frequently cross the online and offline spaces through using the Internet connection and digital mobile devices such as smartphones in their everyday lives. These smart mums and ajummas enrich their networks wider and enjoy daily lives better through having unconstrained and borderless communication with their contacts in both online and offline spaces. Thus, the online first-birthday party (online Dol Jan-chi) is held for mums’ contacts whom are mostly ‘blog neighbours’. (blog neighbours= bloggers become neighbours through communicating in blog space, it is similar to follower or friends)
On online first-birthday party day, the host informs the date and time for the party through a blog post or a message. The party goes usually for 24 hours or few days. Then what the guests do or how do they enjoy the online party? It is very simple. The guests visit the blog and then they will watch a video or photos of baby’s growing diary for last one year. And usually there is a special event for the guests such as a quiz or leaving message for a baby on the blog. Once they write answers for the quiz or left birthday messages for the baby on the blog, the host (parents) pick some guests randomly to give lucky gifts. (Lucky gifts for the online first-birthday party are various such as a mobile voucher (Starbucks drink voucher), baby goods, cosmetics, movie tickets and etc.) The guests for this online first-birthday party are mostly ‘mums’ or ‘ajummas’ today, so the lucky gifts are prepared for especially for mums.
Here is a beautiful example of online first-birthday party (online Dol Jan-chi) on Naver blog, <jjorang’s>. On her blog, you will see what the online first-birthday party is.
Online first-birthday party (online Dol Jan-chi) will be proliferating continuously with the use of digital mobile technology is pervasive in our everyday lives, especially mums and ajummas in Korea. I think this (online first-birthday party [online Dol Jan-chi] could be explained as the digital remediation. However, it should be developed continuously. In other words,this kind of Korean traditional culture should be recreated and developed more to establish the unique Korean culture in online space rather than repeating the same thing (e.g.birthday party/online birthday party) by only changing the spaces (online or offline). Then we will have distinct traditional Korean culture that exist in online and offline (or in between online and offline). These two culture that are in different spaces develop their characters differently (because of the difference of spaces) but still, they were derived from the same root.
Yesterday, the bus tickets to Sokcho (a city close to the border with North Korea) were almost sold out. The news about Pokemon Go was rapidly spread out to people in Korea through various social media. Actually, it was impossible to play that game because of some issues of using Google maps in South Korea. But, Pokemon is found in Sokcho!!!
As you can see the map above, the yellow areas are restricted to play Pokemon Go but the pink triangle zone (Sokcho) is the only location that people do catch Pokemon in South Korea. Sokcho is too close to the border of North Korea, so some experts explained that Sokcho has not been classified as South Korea territory. Luckily (maybe?) we are now allowed to play Pokemon Go in South Korea but we have to go to Sokcho to play it. It takes almost 3 hours by car or bus from Seoul to Sokcho. But people are now heading to Sokcho to meet Pokemon through using their smartphones.
In accordance with the global Pokemon Go fever, the city hall of Sokcho prepared the Pokemon special package hastily. It provides the map of free wifi zone for Pokemon Go players who visit Sokcho city on its Facebook page and Twitter account. (see https://www.facebook.com/dreamsokcho/) Also there is a Pokemon Go team page (https://pokemongoclankorea.herokuapp.com) that allows Korean Pokemon Go players to join three different team group from all over the world to share information about Pokemon Go such as game tips.
And the social commerce such as Tmon (ticketmonster.co.kr) sells the special shuttle bus package from Seoul to Sokcho for Pokemon Go hunters. People can purchase cheaper price of shuttle bus tickets through this social commerce website by using their smartphones.
My timeline of Twitter is now all about Pokemon Go in Korea. It’s been only 1 day since people have found Pokemon Go is available in South Korea (Sokcho). There will be more stories and photos will be coming continuously for sure. So far, it is very interesting and exciting to see this unexpected AR (augmented reality) mobile game phenomenon in South Korea because we couldn’t expect that we can meet Pokemon in South Korea at all! I will keep reporting the news about Pokemon Go in Sokcho. (The bus tickets were already sold out for this coming weekend…you know what this means…)
I cannot go to Sokcho right now but I still can see and read other hunters’ stories and photos through social media. Oh!!! and I can’t catch Pokemon because they didn’t visit Seoul for this time, but I can ‘find’ or ‘catch’ Yakult Ajumma through using Yakult Ajumma app on my smartphone.
Music credit: Peppertones, ‘For all dancers’ (less than 5 seconds, looping)
I just played with the keynote to create a live photo video for this blog. All the videos are made with (include Digital Ppal-let-ter project) photos and keynote. This looping live photo video reminds me a rhizome movie (by Adrian Miles) that we’ve learnt at RMIT almost 10 years ago. I’m thinking to create short video clips (like this) through using keynote, live photo and maybe photo collage.
Grandparenting is not an easy thing at all. But it is unavoidable to both parents and their married sons and daughters because of the poor childcare system for working parents in Korea. There are public and private childcare system that people can get in Korea, but they’re still insufficient to support those working parents. Besides, the reason why those working parents ask their parents to raise their children is because most of them believe that being raised by grandparents is more truthworthy in many ways than a babysitter from the list. I mean, grandparents are more reliable to place their children than babysitters for them. (Of course there are many wonderful babysitters!) Because of many reasons (I can’t write every single reason why people ask their parents to raise their children), grandparenting is becoming a very common thing in Korea and many of my neighbours are actually spend the most of the day time with their grandchildren, I can see. These grandparents are professional at childrearing or babysitting because they’ve already done before for their children. They are experienced parents so they should be better than first time parents (their son and daughter) in childrearing. However, there is a saying, ‘Ten years is an epoch’, various things were disappeared and newly created again and again. Childrearing is not an exception of being affected by the development of technology.
The fundamentals of childrearing is still the same, but the ways of childrearing and the tools for childrearing are evolved rapidly. In other words, grandparents are now making use of the new tools to get new ways of childrearing for their grandchildren. For example, they do mobile shopping to order baby goods, show mobile audio-visual programs for kids and to have mobile chat with their son and daughter about grandchild through using their smart devices (i.e. smartphones) It is called ‘Smart Parenting’. The photo below shows that a grandmother enjoy watching animation on Smart TV with her grandson. People can get various contents especially for their grandchild through Smart TV.
According to the report of mobile shopping site, Tmon (http://tmon.co.kr), the analysis of the sales of babygoods by age group showed that customers who are aged over 50s are increased significantly compared with other age groups. The number 1 item they purchased is Podaegi (baby carrier), http://www.ticketmonster.co.kr. (click the link if you want to see that actual product they purchased)
(This is a podaegi in Korea, image from http://namyangi.com (click the image to see the original webpage))
Besides, the mobile shopping for grandchildren is not only limited to Korea. If you read this article on ‘grandparents.about.com‘ it tells you about ‘6 ways your smartphone can help you shop for grandchildren’. I will continue to talk more about ‘grandparenting’ and digital media in the next post.
It is busy in the morning because their grandson comes every morning around 8 am. A grandmother walks her grandson to the kindergarten by 9 am. Until 2pm, it is her free time. At 2 pm, she picks up her little grandson from the kindergarten, they head to home and a grandmother prepares snacks for him. They play together by watching TV, reading books, or playing game on a grandmother’s smartphone. At 6 pm, they have a dinner together and finally his parents come back home to pick up their son.
This is a summary of daily life of a normal grandparent in Korea today. Of course, I don’t mean all Korean grandparents are doing ‘grandparenting’ now.But I can say that the number of grandparents are grandprenting for their sons and daughters, who are unable to childrearing because most of people in Korea are now two-career families. At the same time, the shortage of day care centres is a major obstacle for these working parents in Korea. For this reason, many of young parents (I mean younger generation than their parents’ generation- over 60 years old) ask their parents to take care of their children.
In my aunty’s case, she also does grandparenting during day time for 5 days a week. She knew how to take care of her grandchild because she already done with her children many years ago. But, the childrearing these days needs more variety.